Salim Ismail, previously Head of Innovation at Yahoo and one of the founding executive directors of the Singularity University (based at NASA in Silicon Valley), arrived 'down under' recently to talk about exponential organisations and to offer suggestions as to where this all might lead. The big question Salim raised was: "How can you harness that pace of change?" He explained this further by looking at the 4 D's: digitise, disrupt, demonetise, democratise.
We are digitising the world, and when we digitise something we can manipulate it with software. There's an opportunity to leverage the acceleration inherent in this pace of change. On the Moore’s Law trajectory of computational power we're moving into complete connectivity through the Internet of Things. When something starts on the exponential growth curve, disruption is underway. As you move to digital the marginal costs drop and the domain explodes - you shift from a scarcity to an abundance model.
What does this mean for you? Look at Xero and the cloud with real-time data. Superior, cheaper, win-win.
The impact of disruption on one industry can be massive, and in ways not always obvious. The finance industry meeting the technology sector has given birth to 'Fintech'. White collar professions are actually changing the most rapidly. Xero has disrupted the accounting industry, and even traditional CPA's are becoming business advisors and cloud integrators.
Disruption is here to stay.
Want to make money? Give something away for free. Take the music industry; instead of purchasing one album you can now sign up to a digitised music service for access to millions of songs. Most new business models are now information based. How do you even compete with a startup which has no cost of supply? We're moving to a type of collaborative consumption where companies like AirBnB and Uber exponentially grow without actual physical assets.
Information is power.
As technology drops in cost, anyone and everyone can afford to get involved. Entrepreneurs with ‘beginners mindset’ are jumping in and disrupting industries, like Elon Musk with SpaceX and his development of a private space industry. Banking systems? The underlying blockchain for Bitcoin is allowing for decentralised authentication. (Note: if you don't take Bitcoin seriously yet, ISIS certainly is and is reportedly funding some activities with it.)
Entire audit functions will disappear as we create new systems around this decentralised structure.
We are good at predicting linear progressions, but not exponential progressions. Spot the curve early and it’s the biggest advantage you can have. Be adaptive and proactive, and enjoy the journey.
Oh, and if you want to discuss how you can build a competitive advantage starting with your online presence, contact us now.